(Last Sunday: Chartan struggles with how to get his life in balance when he gets a letter from Brazil who is fighting in the Ukraine.)
Chartan took the envelope carefully from Gina, as if it were fragile glass. He stared at the line of stamps along the top of the letter.
“Aren’t you going to open it? asked Gina.
Chartan sat down at the table and methodically unsealed the envelope. He read every word before looking at his wife.
Chartan, I wish we were up on that mountain. Coming down from there was much easier than leaving here. It only took me a day to realize I am still a fighter and my instincts are as strong as ever. I’ve been here a month. The excitement has worn off. A few of my buddies have been killed. I want to come home but can’t find the courage to do it. Write back to the address on the envelope. Your friend, Skyler Brazil.
He handed the letter to Gina who put it down a minute later. “He didn’t mention Julie,” she said.
“Maybe he wrote her a letter,” said Chartan.
“I’ll check with her. And the mountain top—isn’t that the day you came to the diner for breakfast?”
“Yes, we got in touch with who were that day–then I met you.”
“Sorry for it?”
“Of course not.”
“Are you going to write back?”
“Yes, today. He’s been on my mind but he slips away so easily. I am making him a priority.”
“What about me?”
“Gina, you’re always my number one priority.”
Later that afternoon Chartan wrote a letter to Brazil. The words came easily as if he were talking to his friend at a coffee house. He made one point: please come home now.
He ran downtown to the post office with his letter and as he glided past the tree-lined streets, he replayed his life of the past year, from the devious Elisa, the road trip to the mountain top and the quick marriage to Gina to the mystery of the missing teens. Yes, Brazil would know how to find them.
(To be continue next Sunday)